Rafa Benítez Blog RSS Rafa Benítez Blog

Oct 2011
22:41 Comments (18)
Tactics, Emotion and Tears

General Articles

Rafa Benítez

For all those fans who are interested in the Audience, this is the last article which we will publish from the subjects covered that night.

We have covered subjects such as ‘zonal marking’, rotation, squad values and finances, and now we will look at tactics and truths about Istanbul.

At the Audience on 16th October we showed slides of my notes, the tactics used and some video clips to clarify what we were describing.

With a special app, you could see the systems of both teams on a big screen (see picture)

We talked about the game in chronological order, the Kewell substitution who was injured and replaced by Smicer who played on the right and Luis García as a second striker to carry on the work done by Kewell, like marking Pirlo out of possession but moving to either side of him when in possession to receive the ball between lines.

We showed the problems that Kaka was causing between the lines and the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.
We explained the change we made in the second half playing 3-4-2-1, with Hamann in centre midfield to control Kaka better and how this influenced the result.
We explained in pictures the influence of Gerrard as a right back to stop Serginho who had come on with fresh legs and was operating on the left, and finally we analysed the penalties, the order of the players taking them and the technical staff’s notes (like those of the goalie coach Ochotorena) we had on the AC Milan penalty takers which helped Dudek with his antics to save the penalties.

In the end, tactics, emotion - a lot of emotion - and tears of joy from winning the Champions League, the most emotional final in history and the 5th European Cup won by Liverpool FC to keep it for good.

To conclude, as you know, the money raised will benefit many people in Merseyside so I would like to thank all those who attended and supported the local charities and the Montse Benitez Foundation.


18 Comments Send us your opinions
30/10/11 at 20:54:04 #1
Fred Oldfield
Thanks Rafa - it was an honour to attend and to meet you afterwards.
30/10/11 at 22:25:58 #2
The Road End
I think your being a little disrespectful to Sir Bob Paisley in your claim 2005 was the "most emotional final in history" For those of us lucky enough to be there in Rome, the clubs first European cup win in 1977 was more important than 2005. 


It was not my intention to be disrespectful but for a lot of fans it was the 'most emotional final in history', as you say not a lot of them were in Rome and the modern TV recreate the final in a different way. The fans at half time, the come back, the goals. Anyway thanks to Rome Liverpool could win it five times in Istanbul.
30/10/11 at 23:24:12 #3
Would love to hear your thoughts on how to beat other teams, not necessarily LFC opponents but random matchups or even Champions League games. How would team x beat team y using the players they have and vice versa. Please share the wealth of your knowledge with us !


Hello Joey, it would be nice to write about how to beat other teams with my ideas, but the problem is that it depends on your team, your players and only the manager in charge has all the information about his own players. You don't know if they have injuries or any player had a problem before the game and the manager decide to take the risk. So, it is better if I respect the game plan of the others. Thanks.
31/10/11 at 00:35:23 #4
Someone put a video on youtube of this bit which I very much enjoyed. I wrote a tactical analysis of this game on my blog actually if anyone wants to read it http://lankyguyblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/classic-matches-ac-milan-3-3-liverpool.html

And I really wish I had Amisco to analyse matches which I think is what you use Rafa?


Hello Jonny, yes it is true, we were using Amisco. I read your analysis some time ago. It is good, but we can start talking about our formation, it was not our idea to play 4-4-1-1 in fact it was 4-2-3-1. We knew that Gattuso and Seedorf would be playing narrow, so our idea, as we were doing in the past, was to play with the fullbacks and wingers narrow plus Kewell and Baros close to the midfielders in defense. The opposite in possession.
31/10/11 at 00:42:57 #5
Michael Perry
What an introduction to english football from rafa, done something spectacular, with a very below standard squad something that must have put a shiver up fergusons spine. Yes Kaka was important, but oh so too was crespo, his finishing was on another planet. I am interested in the extent of relationship you had with him, as i hear you were quite friendly until liverpools rivalry?

The Road End, it;s called a differance of opinion and if you find that disrespectful then i don't know how you go along your daily life. It is widely regarded as the most emotional/exiting game of all time, for obvious reasons to the mass majority.

31/10/11 at 06:00:36 #6
Rafa's Red Men

And “The Road End” I think you’re being a little disrespectful in making the claim that the 77 was the “Most important final ever” even for “Those you who were in Rome” that night, have you ran a poll, before making that statement? Or is it just your own opinion, just like it was Rafa's opinion that the 2005 was “The moist emotional final ever”

Anyway how can you choose the importance of one cup over another, it took all five for keeps, I mean do you favour your first child over your second one? Just because it was fortunate enough, to have been born first?

31/10/11 at 12:56:28 #7
Conrad Lodziak
I must say that your thinking during the first half at Istanbul, and the way you changed things for the second half, demonstrates an unusual swiftness and preciseness of thought. I'm really hard-pressed to think of anyone else who would be capable of doing this. At the time I explained the change in fortunes during the game in terms of you making the necessary changes to win one on ones on those parts of the pitch where Milan were causing problems. Of course this required a monumental effort from the team, and they understandably did tire towards the end.


Hello Conrad, we had the idea and as you say, the players were working very hard. The second half we had the control of the game apart from one or two chances of AC Mlan, a great team. Tactics, passion and team work were the key until the last minute. Thanks.
31/10/11 at 13:50:23 #8
Great article from rafa benitez. But i wonder how would you compare your old valencia to the 2005 liverpool team, the simalarities.


The great Liverpool lost only two games, 86 points in the PL is not bad if we consider the level of the other teams. High tempo with and without the ball a lot of chances per game, clean sheets.
31/10/11 at 15:20:00 #9
@my earlier comment

Interesting, thanks Rafa.
01/11/11 at 09:17:13 #10
hi rafa as you are one of the few managers who won against barca in the neu camp can you tell us how did you do it and can a team like stoke city beat barca at the brittania ?
<< Previous12Next >>